There’s a veritable ton of stuff to do at the Historic Scoot Inn for the month of March. These things include exclusive SXSW shows, as well as a bunch of other stuff before the festival starts in earnest. Check out some of the more choice events below.
Stop by the Historic Scoot Inn for the final day of SXSW from 12pm-11pm for Wild Honey Pie Presents: Beehive. Featuring music from Wild Child, San Fermin, Rubblebucket, Reptar and more. Plus, free Chameleon Cold-Brew, Rhythm Superfoods kale chips, hugs and free band merch. Full lineup and RSVP here!
DoStuff Media and Pabst Blue Ribbon in association with Rhapsody Present:
DoStuff Media and Pabst Blue Ribbon in association with Rhapsody are excited to announce DOxPBR at the Historic Scoot Inn on Thursday, March 19th. Featuring Ghostface & Raekwon, of Montreal, Iceage, Geographer, Elliphant and more (full lineup here). RSVP now on Do512 for free entry. Doors open at 11am, complete with a crawfish boil catered by Austin Crawfish Company!
The North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne create a one of a kind musical experience by combining two of American music’s most riveting acts into one collective performance. Fusing the Dickinson Brothers’ blues-infused rock and roll with Anders Osborne’s unique brand of New Orleans soul, these two acts come together to create a live collaboration on stage every night.
With each group having decades of touring and hundreds of songs underneath their belt, this unique setting gives them a chance to perform in a whole new way. Each night of music is a trip through out both of their catalogs, intertwining the two roots rock mainstays during one set, electric and acoustic.
To see everything going on at The Historic Scoot Inn, check Do512.
March is a big month for the Parish, what with all the SXSW shenanigans going on and all that. Since this month is so particularly jam-packed with cool stuff to see and do, we’ve made a little list of the things we’re most stoked about. To see everything happening at the Parish, all the time, visit Do512.
Platypus Promotion & Keep Austin Live present:
What’s Good Wednesdays is a relatively new, weekly showcasing of talented hip-hop going on in Austin. This week’s edition will feature Cross, 2Tone Vs Q-Will, M.I., Chamothy The Great, One Step Program, and DJ Cez. It’s a totally free show, so bring a few friends and don’t worry about having to pay a cover.
Kickoff Interactive 2015 and celebrate the launch of dProgram. Unconference? Barcamp? Knowledge cafe? All of the above. dProgam unites innovators, entrepreneurs and influencers working to solve our most challenging problems. They are also hosting a mega mixer at the Parish on Saturday, March 14th with free drinks and live music from The Octopus Project.
Blue Scout Media Presents:
This event is FREE and open to the public. No wristband or badge required! Free beer and drink specials courtesy of Blue Scout Media, while supplies last. Entry based on venue capacity. RSVP does not guarantee entry so arrive early! Coffee from Ritual Coffee Roasters and Sister Coffee! sweet giveaways all day! Win a new bike courtesy of Fairdale Bikes! Proceeds and donations benfit the Rock On Foundation.
Magic Man is the creation of childhood friends Alex Caplow (vocals) and Sam Vanderhoop Lee (guitars and keyboards) who, while spending a summer abroad trading labor for room and board on a series of French organic farms, flushed out the music that would comprise Magic Man’s 2010 self-released album Real Life Color. The album gradually made its way across the internet like a slow-burning wildfire until it caught the attention of music blogs including: Pigeons and Planes, All Things Go, and Pitchfork.
The Second City 55th Anniversary Tour is coming this weekend with a loaded lineup of some great comedians on Friday March 6th and 7th. And you’re in for a treat, Jane Lynch is amongst the lineup!
The recent Emmy and Golden Globe award winner will be singing, dancing, and making you laugh your you-know-what off! Yes, you heard that right, audiences should prepare for a must see spectacle, See Jane Sing!
See Jane Sing! Is an act incomparable to most, she will delivering an evening full of laughter, entertainment while expressing her love for beauty and absurdity with comedy and show tunes. Join Jane Lynch on her solo debut show and get ready for entertainment of epic proportions.
This is a rare opportunity to see Jane outside of her iconic role as Sue Sylvester on “Glee” and her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in “Annie.” She will be at the Paramount Theater on Friday March 6th be sure to grab your tickets, this is a show you are not going to want to miss out on! Click here to purchase tickets for the event.
Also be sure to check out the rest of The Second City’s 55th Anniversary Tour, celebrate Chicago’s famous comedy troupe with some hilarious new material, some old sketches by former company members like Belushi, Radner, and Carell. Second City Touring Company, Greenco, will also be in attendance featuring Lisa Barber, Jo Feldman, Julie Marchiano, Chucho Perez, Nick Rees, and Adam Schreck. The Second City’s 55th Anniversary Tour will be here in Austin for two days, be sure to buy your tickets for one of the two dates, or both. Click here for more information.
The Residents are one of rock’s most notorious icons for plenty of reasons. Their identity has been kept secret, their body of work has been continuously pushing the envelope in music culture for 40+ years, and their artistry is on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Inspired by their mystery, their story, and The Residents as a whole, director Don Hardy set out to create a documentary about these legends.
We were granted the opportunity to chat with Don Hardy and discuss his inspirations as a filmmaker, what originally drew him to doing a documentary about The Residents, how he went about creating the film, and what his future endeavors are.
Do512: What originally inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Don Hardy: I guess I was always interested in film from a very young age, and then I watched a documentary when I was about 12 or 13 called “The Thin Blue Line,” directed by Errol Morris. I saw this movie and it was unlike anything I had seen before, I was a kid so I didn’t know much about documentary film, but I was fascinated by it. And it just started my digging into more films from Errol Morris and that leads you to some of the other big titans of the documentary form, and then I became obsessed with documentaries. So I was growing up in upstate New York and it was a lot different then because there was no YouTube, there was no place to really think about making those movies, and it seemed impossible at the time. And, I had a friend of my father’s who worked at a local TV station and by the time I turned 18 or 19 he got me in the door there to do teleprompter stuff. I made friends with the sports guy and he put a camera in my hand to go out and shoot high school basketball games, which was a way to start telling stories a little bit with a camera. I was in TV news so I moved from my little town in upstate New York to a station down in South Florida. I ended up out in San Francisco working at the NBC station here, where I met some great people and we started doing television documentaries for NBC. Then, in 2005 we tried to do an independent one and that led to something called Sound Man and then I guess we got the fever so we kept going. Now, my film partner Dana and I are each directing one of our own; mine is about The Residents, hers is about Bat Kid. So it has been a really interesting road in being a documentary filmmaker.
Do512: Is this your first year showing at SXSW? What are you looking forward to most about being in Austin/SXSW?
Don Hardy: Yeah, this is my first time going to SXSW. We had always said we weren’t going to go to any of these film festivals until we have a film in them, and this is the first one that we’ve been fortunate enough to have and find a home for at SXSW; everyone I’ve talked to has always had great things to say about the audiences, so I’m looking forward to sharing the film with the audiences there.
We were there filming the last Residents concert that went through Austin. The response was great! So we know there’s a large fan base there for The Residents and certainly during SXSW it’s humongous, and just showing it there and letting this little thing that we’ve been working on in our own little walled off rooms for 2 years now, having it actually being seen by people…it’s a really exciting time. Plus, dealing with the programmers Janet, Jarod and Claudette from SXSW has been such a pleasure. You can tell they really like the film, they believe in it and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of SXSW.
Do512: What originally drew you to The Residents? What gave you the initial idea to make a documentary about them?
Don Hardy: Theory of Obscurity started because of beer. A couple of years ago I met my old friends Barton Bishoff and Josh Keppel for drinks and as we were catching up with each other Josh mentioned that he had been working on a couple of projects with The Residents. Bart, a lifelong fan of The Residents, perked up and as I heard them talk I realized there was a great story to be had here. Also, the timing was perfect because The Residents were preparing to head out on their 40th anniversary Wonder of Weird tour. A few days later, we sat down for a meeting with The Residents managers at The Cryptic Corporation to discuss the idea of doing a documentary and a few weeks after that we were on the road with them. It all happened very fast.
Do512: There’s some important figures in the music industry that you interviewed such as Les Claypool from Primus and Jerry Harrison from The Talking Heads. How did you choose who to talk to and what questions to ask? Did you come across any big challenges?
Don Hardy: It was a very interesting and different experience than most other things that I’ve done. Generally, with films you go to the person who’s the center of it and that’s where you start. With The Residents there’s no center because you can’t interview them. So the way I decided to approach it was by trying to tell the story through people who they either inspired, or have collaborated with, and that will hopefully paint a portrait of who they are. So to do that, I could look at the people they’ve worked with over the years, and each person I talked to would say “Oh well you really need to talk to Matt Groening,” Matt wrote The True Story of The Residents in 1979, and…well.. Les Claypool, everyone thinks that Les is a member of the Residents, so you definitely need to get him. So there were a few people at the top of the list. And then there were other people that were maybe easier to get on the phone and so we started with some of them and every person we talked to would lead us down another road and we ended up interviewing– I don’t know– 45 people I think? Several which didn’t end up making the final cut but will be part of the extras that will be a part of the blu-ray or something like that down the road. A lot of fans have asked for a 6-hour director’s cut and I don’t know about that — but we’ll figure out a way to get them all in there.
It is a real challenge with something like this, where I, at the beginning underestimated how hard it is to pack 40+ years into a 90 minute documentary that would be accessible to both the hardcore fans and to people that might not know The Residents. Maybe they got dragged to a screening by a friend or they know one of the other bands featured in the film like say, Primus. A lot of people have found The Residents because of Les Claypool from Primus talking about them. You want to make something accessible and you have to cut a lot of stuff out. Hopefully we made all the pieces fit together and we will bring a lot of new fans into the world of The Residents.
Do512: Nobody knows who the Residents are! Were you able to find out? Who would you like to see behind the giant eye ball masks?
Don Hardy: Very early on, the first discussions I had with The Residents managers, the Cryptic Corporation, we talked a lot about this issue of identity and would we want to do a big reveal in the film, or would that have to be part of the story? And, just from my initial conversations I realized, I think the mystery is more interesting than the resolution, and that holds true if it was Paul McCartney, Bob Seger, and Barbra Streisand, or if it’s just three regular joe schmoes on the street. I think the mystery is what excites everyone about the band. The truth is, in this internet age, if you want to figure out who The Residents are, you can probably get a decent idea from going and googling it. There’s certainly a lot of people out there with opinions about everything. For us, we really decided that wasn’t crucial to The Residents story. The mystery was more important, and the bigger question to ask is why do they do what they do? Why did they choose to be anonymous, in this age where everybody seems to want credit? Why did they choose a different path? For us, attempting to answer those questions became more interesting.
Do512: I love the focus on obscurity through a non-identity to create art and music. Do you resonate with this concept personally?
Don Hardy: Yeah, definitely. As a documentary filmmaker you’re very rarely in the limelight. Generally your job is to document what great things somebody else is doing. I can definitely relate to being in the background and letting what you do stand on its own. Doing interviews like this doesn’t happen very often, and getting up on stage to talk about the film during a Q&A doesn’t happen that often. So I’ve never really craved that limelight. The Residents have tried to put the art first; whether it’s music or their film-work or their multimedia endeavors, it just has this simple overarching name for it and that is The Residents. So yeah, I gravitate towards that. Someone asked me the other day, “How come you have any credits on the film at all?” and I thought “yeah, that’s true; maybe we should take it all off and at the end it could just say by The Residents” (laughs). But, more than for myself, I want to thank all the people that helped make this thing get made, because really it was done in that collaborative spirit that The Residents have always embodied. We had people step in and shoot for us here and there, we had people step in and do the post production stuff at a greatly reduced rate. The guy who did the footage transfers for us is a fan and also happens to be one of the most respected archival transfer people in the entire world. The guy who did the sound mix is an old colleague of The Residents who shot a lot of the films they did in the late 70s and early 80s, and now he’s a sound mixer and totally just wanted to be part of the project. So, I do feel a real need to credit them, but a part of me would actually like to have no credits on it.
Do512: How long did it take you to film this, and what was your favorite part in putting this project together?
Don Hardy: It started with a conversation in December 2012, and then we were on the road. Our first shoot which was for the Residents 40th anniversary tour in Phoenix, AZ was in February. So it would probably be 2 years from right now since we started filming it.
My favorite part of filming…the day we spent with Matt Groening was pretty special, same can go for our day with Les Claypool. But, probably — The most special day was sort of near the end of the film where the Ultimate Box Set, The Residents refrigerator full of all their official releases, was taken into the Museum of Modern Art in New York. For that shoot, it was just myself and Homer Flynn from the Cryptic Corporation. I was documenting it and Homer was helping to set up the refrigerator at the museum. And you know, this is one of the most prestigious museums in the world. I was traveling with a lot of gear because I truly didn’t know where they were gonna have us with this crazy refrigerator. Were they gonna put us out on the loading dock? Or in some back hallway? When we showed up we were taken up to the restoration room, and it’s right in the middle of the entire museum and you walk into this room and it’s totally high tech. It’s perfectly silent. You walk in and you see a 6ft Picasso, you see some work from Jasper Johns and you see these amazing works of art. And then right there is The Residents refrigerator and their eyeball and everything that really adds up to a 40+ year career. And I could see the look on Homer’s face. That feeling of pride that he was feeling and that was just really special. Also, to see how much care the people from the Museum of Modern Art were taking with all of these items, it really put a smile on my face, and I’m glad we can show a little bit of that in the film.
Do512: What are your plans for the documentary after SXSW? And what are your future plans as a director?
Don Hardy: We’ve been fortunate to be invited to several film festivals both in the US and around the world, so the film will be out there and hopefully we’ll be with it at some of these places and get to meet with fans and share the story of The Residents. That’s the immediate goal.
And, hopefully, one big goal of a film festival like SXSW is to find distribution. To find that perfect distributor who believes in the film, in the messages of the film, like ‘do-it-yourself, do it because you love it'; all of those things that are kind of universal. And hopefully find a distributor who believes in it and wants to see it in theaters or on TV or maybe both. All of the above, so that everybody can see it. That’s the main goal for the film. Getting it out there in a meaningful way so that a lot of people can find inspiration in the story like I do.
And for me, it’s an interesting time, because I shot this film called Batkid Begins for my partner Dana Nachman, and that’s out right now playing some film festivals. And then the last film that we directed together is called The Human Experiment. That one is getting a theatrical and VOD release on April 17th, so it’s a pretty busy spring. Later this year there are a couple of new films we’d like to tackle, and certainly a lot of other ideas we’d like to develop. The one I’m most passionate about revolves around the work being done in Haiti by Sean Penn and his organization J/P HRO. I’ve been documenting it since the earthquake happened 5 years ago and there has been a lot of progress in Haiti that hasn’t really been reported by the mainstream media. I think it’s the right time to tell that story.
This is a film you don’t want to miss! Catch Theory Of Obscurity: A Story About The Residents at any of these three screenings listed below!
— Contributed by Marko Chavez –